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Lazaro Guerra, M.D.; Denial of Application for Registration

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This order serves as a correction of the final order previously issued in this matter and published on November 12, 2002.

On February 25, 2002, the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an Order to Show Cause to Lazaro Guerra, M.D. (Dr. Guerra) of Hialeah, Florida, notifying him of an opportunity to show cause as to why DEA should not deny his application for a DEA Certificate of Registration pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 824(a). As a basis for revocation, the Order to Show Cause alleged that Dr. Guerra is not currently authorized to handle controlled substances in Florida, the state in which he practices, and that he has been permanently excluded from the Medicare program. The order also notified Dr. Guerra that should no request for a hearing be filed within 30 days, his hearing right would be deemed waived.

The Order to Show Cause was sent by certified mail to Dr. Guerra at both his Start Printed Page 15227registered location in Hialeah, Florida and to the Federal Detention Center in Miami, Florida, where Dr. Guerra was incarcerated. DEA received signed receipts indicating that the Order to Show Cause was received on Dr. Guerra's behalf on March 5, 2002, at the Federal Detention Center and on March 4, 2002, at his registered address. DEA has not received a request for hearing or any other reply from Dr. Guerra or anyone purporting to represent him in this matter. Therefore, the Deputy Administrator, finding that (1) 30 days have passed since the receipt of the Order to Show Cause, and (2) no request for a hearing having been received, concludes that Dr. Guerra is deemed to have waived his hearing right. After considering material from the investigative file in this matter, the Deputy Administrator now enters his final order without a hearing pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43(d) and (e) and 1301.46.

The Acting Administrator finds that on March 11, 2001, Dr. Guerra submitted an application for DEA Certificate of Registration as a researcher, seeking authorization to handle controlled substances in Schedule I at a hospital facility in Hialeah, Florida.

On February 10, 2000, Dr. Guerra, along with two other individuals, were charged through a criminal information in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Specifically, Dr. Guerra and others were charged with using fraudulent means to obtain approximately $2.7 million from Medicare in the form of reimbursements from 1990 to January 1997. On April 10, 2001, Dr. Guerra entered a guilty plea to one felony count of mail fraud. As part of his plea, he agreed to pay $2.7 million in restitution to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. He was sentenced to forty-eight (48) months imprisonment, and ordered to pay additional fines and assessments. He further agreed to a permanent mandatory exclusion from participation in the Medicare program pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7(a). Such exclusion is an independent ground for revoking a DEA registration. 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(5).

Moreover, on July 18, 2001, the Florida Department of Health issued an Order of Emergency Suspension of License with respect to Dr. Guerra's medical license. The suspension of his medical license has not been lifted. Therefore, Dr. Guerra is not currently authorized to handle controlled substances in the State of Florida. Therefore, she is not entitled to a DEA registration in that state. 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3).

Accordingly, the Deputy Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, pursuant to the authority vested in him by 21 U.S.C. 823 and 824 and 28 CFR 0.100(b) and 0.104, hereby orders that Dr. Guerra's application for DEA registration be, and hereby is, denied. The Deputy Administrator further orders that any other pending applications from Dr. Guerra be, and hereby are, denied. This order is effective April 28, 2003.

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Dated: March 6, 2003.

John B. Brown III,

Deputy Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 03-7388 Filed 3-27-03; 8:45 am]